Monday, December 21, 2015

Laughing All the Way


To say that I am behind with Christmas preparations is a huge understatement. I had planned to make a potato dish to share with you today. Instead, I find myself sharing the saga of my cooking day.

I took out a turkey and for the first time in my life, found the leg, thigh, and part of the back horribly bruised. I can only hope that happened after the poor bird was dead. I wasn't too concerned, but went online to check. Surprisingly, this is not a rare occurance. And the bottom line was to return the bird. So now I have a turkey that can't be eaten.

I made the potatoes and they were delicious, but definitely not ready for sharing. I need to do some serious tweaking on that recipe. No problem, baking lebkuchen was on my agenda. The fabulous German Christmas cookies are a must at my house, and I had spotted a very intriguing recipe for them. For years my mom and I have been searching for the right recipe. This one sounded so promising. The smells were heavenly: allspice, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon. Yum!

It was a disaster. Absolutely inedible. It was the strangest version of a lebkuchen ever!

So, at nine o'clock, I remembered a recipe I wanted to try. It's all over the Internet. As I recall, one of them even said there was no way it wouldn't turn out perfect. Oh yeah?

In all fairness, I was pretty wiped and three dogs were whining at me. So here's what you will do. You will limit the cheese and fruit to two inches down the middle. And you will make absolutely sure that your braided dough is well secured so yours doesn't pop open like mine did. But here's the good news, even if it does pop open - it would be really hard to beat the flavor. Absolutely delicious!

Remember Julia Child's advice when she dropped the chicken on the floor? You say to your guests, "Isn't it lucky that I roasted two?" And then you whisk the chicken into the kitchen, turn around and bring it right back out again.

So, if your lovely Danish braid should open, just cut it into individual slices and serve. They'll never know the difference, and they'll be too busy raving about it to care, especially if you serve it warm.


Crescent Roll Danish

1 can crescent rolls
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons flour
cherry preserves or fresh berries (if desired)

Optional Topping
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Open the can of crescent rolls. Do not divide them into triangles. Line up the rectangles in a row on the parchment paper with the long sides next to each other. Press them together, as well as any holes.

Dump the rest of the ingredients in a mixer and beat. Spoon it down the middle of the dough, not wider than 2 inches. Add berries or preserves. Scant amounts are best.

Cut the dough on each side on a slant and braid the dough, making sure it's well secured.

Bake 15-20 minutes.

If using the topping, mix and drizzle over top when cool.


Lay the rectangles of dough next to each other.

Here's where I went wrong. Too much filling!

Looks like a mummy

Tasted better than from a bakery!



28 comments:

  1. The Danish looks awesome (and I agree, it does look like a mummy). :)

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    1. Hopefully, other people will be better at braiding!

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  2. Somedays spent in the kitchen definitely test one's patience and nearly convince one to order takeout and purchase pre-packaged, pre-made eery thing! !!! Thank you for persevering and giving us a yummy looking recipe! The world is a better place because of cream cheese, isn't it????

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    1. Jody, you're so right. Thank heaven for cream cheese. It makes everything better!

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  3. Yup, there are days like that. As long as the result tastes good, don't worry about it.

    I'd never heard of the turkey problem--wow.

    Your mention of the Julia Child episode reminded me of Dan Ackroyd's SNL version, where he (playing Julia carving the chicken) manages to slice himself and there's blood spurting all over the stage, but he soldiers on regardless. You gotta be tough to be a cook!

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    1. I remember that SNL episode well! Loved it. And the "Save the liver!" comments.

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    2. LOL! I wonder if that's online. Probably. I'm looking it up!

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  4. Love the story Krista--I bet everyone's relieved to hear that even you have rotten days in the kitchen!

    Merry Christmas! And I will have a slice of that Danish right now please...

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    1. I have plenty of rotten days in the kitchen! And yesterday, no matter what I did, it wasn't going to work out right. Passing the Danish! : )

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  5. Recipes don't always turn out well for me either...at least they never look exactly like the picture. But I'd eat a piece of yours. It looks delicious. So what if it doesn't look exactly like the picture on the Internet? Bet it tastes delicious!

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    1. Dianne, I agree. It tasted fabulous and in the end, that's all that counts!

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  6. Oh, Krista - you're absolutely right....when all else fails, quote Julia! :-). The Danish looks fab, I think I'll make it over the long weekend! :-)

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    1. Nicole, I may give it another shot. Especially for breakfast. It's so good warm!

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  7. That looks yummy and easy for Christmas morning, doesn't it? And I love that you share your (rare) cooking fiascos with the rest of us -- makes me feel much better!

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    1. Unfortunately, they're not that rare, Leslie! But I also thought this would be lovely with coffee before breakfast.

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  8. Your "disaster" would be normal, for me! Actually, just having something homemade, no matter how it looks, is a big positive. I'd rather eat it than look at it! :)

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    1. In that case, you'll love this. It really is yummy! : )

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  9. Perhaps the turkey used to play rugby?
    Dear Julia Child. An appropriate comment for most kitchen situations.

    This looks quite tasty and easy.
    A very merry to you and yours.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family, too, Libby! A rugby playing turkey? I have a feeling he wasn't on the winning team!

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  10. This looks great! Putting this on the menu for Christmas breakfast. I was looking for something new. PS What does a bruised turkey look like? Black and blue??

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    1. Peg, it looked just like a bruise. Reddish in spots, dark in others. Maybe blood had drained to that area? The trouble, of course, is that they come in packages that one can't see through.

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  11. And if Christmas dinner is totally inedible there's always Chinese food.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  12. Crescent roll Danish looks pretty darn good! I am very behind this year as well...Have a wonderful Christmas!

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    1. Thank you. I hope you catch up and have a fabulous Christmas!

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  13. Sharon Baker. slpetera@yahoo.comDecember 21, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    The recipes are as good as the stories in these books. I love them. Merry Christmas. slpetera@yahoo.com

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  14. i have done something like this with cream cheese and flavorings and there was a recipe for it with chocolate chips(i dont like chocolate, yes i am weird). every time my braid doesnt work. also do you know they have crescent creations that makes doing this sooooo much easier. now i just stuff cream cheese in rolls or creations and hope for the best. everyone loves them no matter how bad they look. if you do find a good lebkuchen recipe i would love to know it. we just buy tons at Aldi, lol. thanks

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